Mustang Digital Dash Cluster Overview & Setup Guide

Mustang Digital Dash Cluster Overview & Setup Guide

Last Updated February 1, 2024 | Hamilton Schutt

In 2018, the S550 Mustang gained an optional 12.3 inch LCD digital gauge cluster. The LCD display is highly-customizable, allowing drivers to design a layout that suits their individual tastes and needs.

Between the three different preset layouts, over 900 possible color combinations, and a variety of extra gauges, there are plenty of ways to make it your own.

Whether you need help setting up your LCD cluster or just want to explore what it can do for you, we'll guide you through each possibility below.

LCD Cluster Availability
Model Available Years Available Additional Cost Notes
Bullitt Yes 2019 - 2020 Standard Speedometer goes up to 180 mph rather than 160 mph
EcoBoost Yes 2018 - 2022 Premium Package + $2,200 N/A
GT Yes 2018 - 2022 Premium Package + $2,200 N/A
Mach 1 Yes 2021 Standard Speedometer goes up to 180 mph rather than 160 mph
Shelby GT350 NoN/A N/A N/A
Shelby GT500 Yes 2020 - 2022 Standard Speedometer goes up to 220 mph rather than 160 mph

Uses a “Cobra” button instead of a “Pony” button

Features a Cobra emblem at the top of selection menus instead of a Pony emblem

“Snow/Wet” Mode is renamed “Slippery” Mode

The LCD cluster was introduced as part of the Premium Plus Package on 2018 Mustang EcoBoosts (201A) and GTs (401A). To get the Premium Plus Package, you'll first need the Premium Package, which includes a lot of popular features you can check out here.

If you're already planning to get the Premium Package, the extra $2,200 you'll pay for Premium Plus is a good value. The cost of an OEM cluster is comparable, not to mention the hassle and cost of retrofitting it.

If you have a 2015-2017 Mustang, read here for information on adding the digital cluster to your ride.

Default Drive Mode Layouts

There are three cluster layouts with distinct designs that change depending on your selected drive mode. If you're in Normal or Snow/Wet mode, you'll see the Normal cluster layout. The Sport layout appears only when you're in Sport Plus mode. The Track layout is the default when you're in Track or Drag Strip mode. Check out the differences between each layout below.

One of the coolest features of the LCD display is that you can set any of the display options as the default, no matter what drive mode you're in. Skip ahead for instructions on how to do that.

Normal Mode Cluster

Mustang LCD cluster in the Normal drive mode layout

The Normal cluster layout replicates the analog gauge setup when you're in Normal, Snow/Wet, or if you have a GT500, slippery mode. The speedometer and tachometer keep their standard round look, with a digital reading in the center. The digital arms use comet tails that trail behind for an easy-to-read display.

This layout is the only one that consistently displays the title of the song you're listening to at the top of the cluster.

Sport Mode Cluster

Mustang LCD cluster in the Sport drive mode layout

In Sport Plus mode, the tachometer becomes the focal point. The tachometer's larger display makes it so song titles aren't shown consistently. However, the song title will appear briefly when the song changes.

Track Mode Cluster

Mustang LCD cluster in the Track drive mode layout

This is the default layout for the Track and Drag Strip modes, and it changes the most from the Normal setup. The tachometer is even bigger than in Sport Plus mode, taking up a third of the screen. Similar to Sport Plus, song titles only show when the song changes.

The tachometer and speedometer's digital readings are both changed to floating numbers. This conserves space compared to the circular gauges used in Normal and Sport modes.

How to Set Your Favorite Layout as the Default

You can allow the layouts to shift with the drive modes, or you can select the cluster display you like best regardless of the drive mode. There's also a blank space in the center of each display you can fill that with GPS directions or more gauges (more on that below).

To set one cluster display as the default, follow these steps:

  1. Press the “Pony” button located on your steering wheel.
  2. Scroll to “Cluster Appearance.”
  3. Scroll to the setup you like best and select it with the “OK” button.
  4. When you're finished, press the back button on the right side of the wheel to get out of the menu.

If you want the display to change with the drive mode again, follow the same instructions and select “Change with Drive Mode.”

Mustang LCD cluster layout options

How to Use MyMode to Change Your Layout and Drive Mode Settings

The “MyMode” option allows you to customize and save your driving preferences. This includes the suspension, steering, and cluster display. For example, if you like the Sport Plus steering but prefer the Normal suspension, you can choose to combine them. To set up MyMode, follow these steps:

  1. Hit the “Pony” button.
  2. Scroll to “MyMode.”
  3. Choose “Show Status.”
  4. Cycle through the modes to your preferred cluster layout.
  5. Once you decide which cluster you want as the default, hold the “OK” button to save.
  6. When you're finished, press the back button on the right side of the wheel to get out of the menu.

You can switch into MyMode just like you would any other drive mode. Keep in mind, you'll have to re-select MyMode every time you start your Mustang. There's no way to set MyMode as the default setting.

Mustang LCD cluster custom MyMode layout

Extra Gauges You Can Add

If the standard gauges don't provide enough information for you, you have the option to add up to three extra gauges to your cluster. If you want the information the extra gauges provide, all you have to do is press the up or down button on the steering wheel for a readout of all available gauges.

Mustang LCD cluster additional gauges selection menu

You can pick any of the three gauges listed below to display on your dash at all times:

  • Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge - Measures the ratio of air to fuel entering your internal combustion engine. This reading helps you determine whether your ratio is spot on, running lean, or running rich.
  • Transmission Oil Temperature Gauge (Exclusive to Automatic Transmissions) - Measures the temperature of your transmission oil. This helps you avoid damage to the transmission from excessively hot oil.
  • Axle Oil Temperature Gauge (Exclusive to GT Performance Pack) - Measures the temperature of your axle oil (differential fluid) to avoid overheating while you tear up the track.
  • Cylinder Head Temperature Gauge - Measures the engine cylinder heads' temperature. This measurement lets you keep an eye on the heat building up in the heads, which helps you avoid damage to your engine from overheating.
  • Engine Oil Pressure Gauge - Measures the engine's oil pressure. This makes it easier to catch leaks or worn-out engine parts before you run into expensive repairs.
  • Inlet Air Temperature Gauge - Measures the temperature of the air coming into your engine. You can cross-reference this reading with the air/fuel ratio gauge to ensure the system is working.
  • Manifold Charge Temperature Gauge (Exclusive to Shelby GT500) - This gauge shows the temperature of the air flowing through the engine. This reading is used by the ECU to determine the correct air/fuel ratio needed to properly operate the engine.
  • Vacuum Gauge (Exclusive to 5.0L) - The vacuum gauge measures the air pressure in the intake manifold compared to the air pressure outside the engine. This reading can help you increase fuel efficiency while you drive.
  • Boost Gauge (Exclusive to 2.3L) - The boost gauge measures the pressure in the combustion chambers created by additional air from the turbocharger or supercharger. In the GT500, this gauge is combined with the vacuum gauge.
  • Voltage Gauge - Measures the voltage of your Mustang's charging system. If the voltage drops lower or higher than the standard number defined in your owner's manual, you may have issues with your charging system.

How to Add Gauges to Your LCD Cluster

You can add these gauges to your cluster by following these steps:

  1. Hit the “Pony” button.
  2. Scroll to “Gauges.”
  3. Click “Configure MyGauges” and then choose which gauges you'd like displayed.
  4. When you're finished, press the back button on the right side of the wheel to get out of the menu.

Once you've selected the gauges you want, they'll appear in the open space at the center of the dash in all drive mode layouts. Your selected gauges should appear each time you start the car.

Mustang LCD cluster with extra gauges added to the center

How to Customize the LCD Cluster and Ambient Light Colors

After picking which gauges you want, you have the option to personalize their colors. You can pick from seven presets or create up to three custom MyColors.

Preset Colors: Ice Blue, Gray, Green, Purple, Blue, Orange, Red

Preset LCD cluster color options

How to Create a MyColor

The “Create MyColor” option allows you to create and save three custom MyColors using color wheels for over 900 possible color combinations. Any of your three MyColors can be used for the primary, secondary, or ambient lights. To access the color wheels, follow these steps:

  1. Hit the “Pony” button.
  2. Scroll to “MyColor.”
  3. Scroll to “Create MyColor.”
  4. Use the directional arrows to explore the different colors on the wheel.
  5. Hit the “OK” button located on the steering wheel between the directional arrows to cycle through the wheels. Once you cycle to the next wheel, the color on the previous wheel will be saved.
  6. When you're finished, press the back button on the right side of the wheel to get out of the menu.

Mustang LCD cluster MyColor color wheel menu

Changing the Primary and Secondary Colors

The primary color is used for the comet tails that trail behind the digital needles on the gauges. This color is set to blue by default. The secondary color is used for the speedometer and tachometer rings, with gray as the default. To change these colors, follow these steps:

  1. Hit the “Pony” button.
  2. Scroll to “MyColor.”
  3. Select “Primary” or “Secondary.”
  4. Choose which color you like best from the presets, or use your custom MyColor.
  5. When you're finished, press the back button on the right side of the wheel to get out of the menu.

Mustang LCD cluster MyColor selection menu

What to Do If Your Colors Aren't Saving

Some people have issues with their chosen colors saving properly. If the colors keep going back to default when you restart your car, choose your colors again and hold the seat memory button down until you hear a beep. This should fix the issue. Just make sure your seat is adjusted the way you like it because it will also save the seat position. You can always repeat this process if you want a new set of colors.

Changing the Ambient Light Color

The ambient lights are found under the dash, behind analog gauges, in the door handles, and in the cupholders in your Mustang's cabin. Having the ambient lights turned on is an optional setting. You can turn them on or off through the MyColor menu. To activate, change the color of, or dim the ambient lights, follow these steps:

  1. Hit the “Pony” button.
  2. Scroll to “MyColor.”
  3. Select “Ambient.”
  4. Select “Ambient Light” to turn them on.
  5. Select “Ambient Dim” to choose the brightness of the lights.
  6. Select “Ambient Color” to choose a color from the presets, or use your custom MyColor.
  7. When you're finished, press the back button on the right side of the wheel to get out of the menu.

Mustang LCD cluster MyColor ambient light menu

Other Features

In addition to the customizable features detailed above, the LCD cluster is also your access point for Track Apps™, Key Modes, and day-to-day driving tools like driver assist and trip info. These optional tools create a driving experience that's unique to you.

While the analog cluster has these features confined to the small screen, the digital cluster displays this information in a larger space. This makes it much easier to check these features at a glance, all the while providing more information.

Keep in mind, options like Track Apps™ will replace the extra gauges you've selected until you turn Track Apps™ off.

Mustang LCD cluster Track Apps selection menu

Did You Know?

Ford's core development team spent over 2,000 hours perfecting this digital dash cluster. Video game development experts joined the team to provide drivers with features from racing games. The development team also focused on researching and understanding the human eye to make the cluster readable at a quick glance.

Can You Retrofit a Digital Gauge Cluster in an Older S550?

In short, yes. If you have an earlier S550, you don't need to buy a whole new Mustang to get the LCD cluster. The community has figured out how to retrofit the OEM Ford cluster on 2015-2017 Mustangs. The install time is typically an hour or so. However, there are a few limiting factors that might make it difficult to do.

The cluster will need to be programmed with the correct odometer reading as well as having the automatic gear shift values downgraded from the 10-speed to the 6-speed.

Additionally, you may run into some problems with the MT82 manual transmissions since the cluster is programmed to work with the MT82-D4. You'll also need to disconnect the battery, disable the airbag, remove the steering wheel, and cut out a plastic back panel to complete the install.

Another factor to consider is the price of parts. Some enthusiasts are able to get everything they need for around $1,200. But they had to program the cluster themselves. If you want a plug-and-play install, you'll want to find someone who can craft the setup and do the programming for you. These options are more likely to run you $2,000 and up.

Show Us Your LCD Gauge Cluster

If you end up making the switch or upgrading to a 2018+ Mustang with the digital cluster, be sure to drop us some pictures of your custom setup on social media. Share your retrofitting experience and tips to help other enthusiasts with their installs!

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Sources: 2018 Ford Mustang Brochure, Dealer eProcess | 2019 Ford Mustang Brochure, Dealer eProcess | 2020 Ford Mustang Brochure, Dealer eProcess | 2021 Ford Mustang Brochure, Dealer eProcess | Mustang Digital Cluster Fact Sheet, Ford Media

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.